In fact, the Kinect sensor for Windows is available for preorder now from Amazon's online store, priced at $250. The item will be released Feb. 1, the site says.
"Just as Kinect revolutionized gaming, we'll see it revolutionize other industries, like entertainment, healthcare and more," Ballmer said.
Microsoft is also using Kinect to bring interactive TV to the Xbox. As an example, it has signed a deal with Sesame Street, which will develop programs that let children interact with puppets. A young girl took the stage to show how she could mime throwing objects at the screen, and count along with the characters as the items landed in a box.
Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Electronics Association, predicted Microsoft will return to CES. "I would be shocked if a Microsoft leader does not return to the stage again in the next few years," he said in introducing Ballmer.
But for next year, the CEA will have to find someone else.